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Archive for the ‘MY CASTLE’ Category

Owning a home free and clear gives a sense of security and a psychological comfort, although every borrower’s situation is different and the decision should be made individually.

Should you pay off your mortgage early? (more…)

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Repair wood floors and scratches can make rooms look worn out. It is easy to put the luster back into the floors.

Camouflage scratches (more…)

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The number of shared households made up 18.7% of all households in the nation in 2010, growing from 17% in spring 2007, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report.

Looking back on the recession, the U.S. Census Bureau finds the number of shared households grew by 11.4% from 2007 to 2010. Meanwhile, total households grew by a modest 1.3%.

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The Census Bureau defines a “shared household” as one with an “additional adult” over the age of 18 who is not enrolled in school and is not the cohabitating partner or spouse of the householder.

More than half of the additional adults were under the age of 35, but since the recession, those in the 25 to 35 age demographic accounted for almost half of the rise in people who live with another householder.

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The number of these “adult children” living with their parents grew from 1.2 million to 15.8 million in the three years between 2007 and 2010.

Shared households in 2010 accounted for 18.7 % of all households in the country, up from 17% in 2007. A bulk of the increase comes from the number of adult children moving back in with their parents, which grew from 1.2 million to 15.8 million between 2007 and 2010.

http://www.housingwire.com/content/census-bureau-187-households-are-shared

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SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau

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More Americans are showing a preference for living closer into the city than the outer suburbs, according to newly released U.S. Census data. The annual rate of growth in American cities and surrounding urban areas recently surpassed exurbs for the first time in two decades. (more…)

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Northern Virginia Public Schools: https://viviannerutkowski.wordpress.com/category/2-re-buyer-resources/nova-schools/

Directs links to Public Schools in  Fairfax County VA, Loudoun County VA, Prince William County VA, Arlington County VA, Fauquier County VA: http://www.realtorviviannerutkowski.com/schoolinfo.shtml

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Living in a high-scoring public school district can raise home values up to $205,000 higher compared to homes located in neighborhoods with low-scoring school districts, according to a new study by Brookings Institute. Brookings analyzed the nation’s 100 largest metro areas to find the differences between living near a high-scoring public school and a low-performing school.

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“We think of public education as being free, and we think of the main divide in education between public and private schools,” Jonathan Rothwell, a senior research analyst at Brookings, told The New York Times. “But it turns out that it’s actually very expensive to enroll your children in a high-scoring public school.” The cost of living in a high-scoring public neighborhood can be higher than paying a private tuition at a school, researchers noted.

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Housing costs near high-scoring schools — those in the top one-fifth of schools in the area — were 2.4 times higher on average, or $11,000 more per year, than homes located in school districts in the bottom fifth, the study found.

Some of the areas with the largest differences in housing costs also have the widest gaps in school test scores,” reports CNNMoney about the study’s findings.

Students from low-income families — classified as those who are eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches — were found to be more likely to attend schools that score in the 42nd percentile on state tests, according to Brookings Institute. On the other hand, students from middle- to high-income households, on average, tend to attend schools that score in the 61st percentile.

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SOURCE: Brookings Institute; “Test Scores and Housing Costs” The New York Times;  “Living Near Good Schools will Cost an Extra $200k” CNNMoney; REALTOR Magazine; Vivianne Rutkowski

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As the number of people living in a household expands, builders are responding and tweaking home designs to meet the growing needs of multigenerational households.

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In recent years, the number of grown children moving back with their parents and the number of elderly parents moving-in with their adult children is increasing, causing more households to re-evaluate their use of space at home. Analysts say the number of multigenerational households will likely rise even more in the coming years, particularly among ethnic groups like Asians and Hispanics who are more likely to live with extended family.

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More builders are debuting floorplans for single-family homes that include “semi-independent suites with separate entries, bathrooms, and kitchenettes,” the Associated Press reports. “Some suites even include their own laundry areas and outdoor patios for additional privacy, though they maintain a connection to the main house through an inside door. “

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For example, homebuilder Lennar Corp. has started offering 700-square-foot suites contained in some of its 3,400-square-foot floorplan homes in Las Vegas. Homebuilder Standard Pacific Homes also has rolled out more “casitas,” which are attached to the main house but also offer more independent living.

The Family That Stays Together,”

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SOURCE: The Associated Press; The Washington Times

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What a difference a few years make.

With interest only loans gone, with no money down loans gone (with exception of VA loans) and lenders going back to more conservative lending requiring 10%-20% down for conventional loans ( FHA loans require 3.5% down), a growing number of families are moving in together, which sometimes means that three generations are living all under one roof.

The sluggish economy has caused some households to expand, taking in more family members to trim housing costs, or to simply save money for a downpayment to purchase a home.

According to Census Bureau data, 4.4 million households had three generations or more under one roof in 2010. That is a 15% increase compared to two years prior.

The “double-up” phenomena is particularly pronounced among adult children, who are increasingly moving back with their parents after college to curb costs. The number of 25-to-34 year olds living with their parents jumped by more than 25% between 2001 and 2007, according to Census data.

The larger household sizes are causing builders to take notice and redesign floorplans to accommodate multi-generational households. For example, Pulte Homes says it’s swapping out one of the garages in its two-car garage plans to allow for extra space in a home for a guest room. And Toll Brothers reports that it’s creating new floorplans to accommodate multiple generations, such as a guest suite with a kitchen added where a family room may have once been.

 “The New American Household: 3 Generations, 1 Roof,”

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SOURCE: CNNMoney

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